Friday, December 31

Ultimate Reflection: first/last 2010

Thanks to the fabulous crew at I had sone excellent prompts to help me reflect on my year. So in my continues efforts to respond to as many as feel possible and right for me to respond to. My

December 1, 2010 prompt:One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

The word for 2010: resonance
Why? I have been coming up against many people, decisions and complexities and feel the litmus test is "does this resonate with me?" From what to do on a Friday night to picking a yoga school to (re)adopting new/old beliefs... I built my journey on elements with resonance.

I think 2011's word will be love. This is not just in a "superficial" way of things or experiences or people (but I'm sure of that too), but also love as a deeper power and perspective. Starting tomorrow, I have a feeling that I will be sporadically humming The Beatles more often "do do do-da doo all you need is love. Altogether now... All you need is love."

December 31, 2010 prompt:Core story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)
My core story is being shares with the world more and more. I believe it came up here as well in the December Reverb10 postings too.
My story is the search, celebration and encouraging of passion and joy in myself and others.

The 30th & 2nd meet

Two more from

December 30th Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? The most memorable gift I received this year was multi-part; the gift of insightful, meaningful & genuine teachers in my current phase of life.

December 2nd: Writing: What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
Three things:
1)Tell myself I don't have time. (I know this is untrue. If I just hold myself accountable I can definitely make time/find time every day.)
2)Being apathetic or indifferent, therefore no good, write-able observations. (Find something to write about every day.
3)Self-criticism. (Say the criticism out loud or write it and use it as writing.

Thursday, December 30

Instant of Denotation

For December 29th the prompt is: Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year

One defining moment or even a series is a pretty tough thing to pin down. As such, I'll be abstract and metaphorical with a poetic response.

Easy Hider
I used
The easy hider
of self deception
bandage upon wound
scar above it all.
Somehow hidden
free from interpretation

Closer to the wound
Lower than the surface
cleaner than the raw
Raw status of old pain
and lined up again
under layers
awaiting diagnosis

So I open up the dressing
trying to exhale
as I let the flesh
define itself to me.

by LyndiaP, December 2010.

Tuesday, December 28

Two verbs and a Reverb

Two verb must be a reverb... so I am doing two reverb posts today - achieve & celebrate.
from today: Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. I am looking at achieving something slightly, inherently difficult to quantify as an "achievement" but think the changing of the frame of mind today with the 10 things would be useful: relinquishing control... well excessive control of the old ego in quotidian situations. By this I mean not go crazy and give up self-control but rather give up the need to be "in control" of every aspect of my day and life.

I'd feel at ease and free. Sounds good to me!

10 Things I can do or Thoughts I can think to get this started today:
- not put everything (anything?) into my schedule/calendar with warning alarms.
- no worring about how much time there will be for the activities in the day (which leads to)
- planning fewer things in the day
- not think of multiple solutions or possibilities for every situation or question
- laugh more (because that always just happens)
- listen to silence
- not interrupt people or "help finish sentences"
- not gather more information, just consider what I already know or have experienced
- make decisions with intuition
- not argue just to be right or get the last word

December 27th's prompt was te celebration of ordinary joy. Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

There are many moments of ordinary joy, especially since I decided to "find the beauty in ugliness." Sometimes though those moments aren't exactly joy as intrigue or inspiration. But one such moment would be when I read or listen to messages or emails that are lighthearted, well-articulated and somewhat unexpected - an email from my cousin, a voicemail from my Grandmother or the first emoticon I ever saw my dad send! All those things of wonderful people reaching out and connecting with you is a shining sparkle of joy.

Sunday, December 26

photogenic finds

From yesterday's reflective prompt I have decided on the photo-of-the-year, well, the portrait of me of the year. However, first I would like to say in this era of "profile pictures" I find myself pondering the great numbers of self-portraits and images on the whole of myself. It's very strange. I mean, when you think about it there is really no use for most of the pictures but they exist in such prolific numbers that I have to admit I question the purpose... but I have digressed. Here is the prompt
Photo - a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

There are two photos - courtesy of Kelly Rosborough (on Picasa & with the Bokehccino Project)
Bathtub Part 1
 I had always wanted to have pictures taken in a bathtub... with something besides water in it. So for the first attempt I suggested shoes (the only think I could think of that I would have enough of to even get close to filling said tub) however, in subsequent shots I have used books and I was quite a bit happier with that since the quantity of shoes has nothing to do with my love for them whereas the quantity of my books is only a fraction of my loving for them. But I do feel this was the fun and creative self that I hope to display and cultivate.
Inner Strength  in an Autumn without a Fall.
Yoga in the park in the fall. It was perfect AND that I could attempt this pose (side-crow) without falling off the picnic table and with the two birds flying over the river in the background? Priceless. And even more so since I didn't have to make a health insurance claim for a broken nose or something... I think this, again, is a great shot by Kelly because it captures one of my favourite seasons with an activity I am very fond of and will be taking a 4 week training course for in early 2011.

Seconds Anyone?

The Reverb10 prompt after three of five days of eating? Appropriately, soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
I love eating so consider almost everything unforgettable. However, given the large quantity of eating, much is likely forgotten. There are two different occasions that come to mind when the food was particularly soulful: 1) I undertook 3 months of vegetarianism (for a variety of well-informed reasons) and experimented with a variety of recipes on the spectrum of tastiness and success. One, however was particularly unimpressive: a vegetable soup with over cooked quiona and eggplant. I could hardly finish a serving let alone the 8-10 servings I had prepared. So I froze it hoping it would get better with age and frigidness. I was wrong.
One day, months later I had nothing left in the fridge and felt like I'd hit the jackpot when I found some glorious leftovers in the freezer. It was the barely edible soup. But I persevered, adding both spices and cheeses and some extra cooking I came out with a really satisfying and comforting creamy soup that was relatively healthy and actually missed it when it was gone.

2) I learned, from my grandmother, to cook verenecka (some traditional perogy-like pockets filled with cottage cheese or fruit). Our giant batch (possibly a triple or quadruple recipe) took at least two hours to prepare. Then we ate them pot-luck style with some family who had just crafted some delicious deep fried homemade doughnuts!

From one side of the spectrum to the other and everything in between!
Thanks again

Friday, December 24

it's good to be OK

Today's Prompt from Everything's OK.
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

I have a fear of getting stuck. I must have experienced it enough from people in their 40s and 50s that say how they regret not doing things earlier in their lives; folks with those coveted "good jobs" who only care about the marginal bit of time they have not at said job; and my own soul-crushing experiences that this is a very real fear.

In late winter, maybe the end of February, I committed to "keeping my eyes open" for other opportunities in life. I didn't make a vow or pact or anything, just knew I had to have a change soon. By about April I stumbled across several interesting job postings, got some good tips and even applied for something! Nothing panned out.

Then through spring I was dejected and busy and forgot about a lot of it. Things were put on hold and then I re-started the hunt for an apartment. By July I had moved AND was about 80% sure I would be going on another fabulous travel adventure in early 2011. That felt like momentum, change. So the Beast of Change was placated. Temporarily.

This urge was a a sneaky & persistent one though. Even when I thought I was satisfied with my job for another 6 months and settles on my India destination by the end of summer I found myself, one day in September, reading an intreguing job description online. I knewI had to apply. So around 10:30 that morning I began writing a cover letter. I expressed my interest & enthusiasm and then proceeded to profess my, unbeknownst to me, passionate academic intrest in this very area. I stopped writing the letter. I kind of froze at the computer. "Yeah," I thought to myself, "I really DO want to study something like this."

I was dazed for a moment. I had been researching and looking-into and reflecting and (over)-analyzing this very thing for several years. I CTRL-Sed the letter and went back online to look at Masters degrees in this area. There was one school I thought had a good program and my friend had just completed a different program with high regard for the school.

I was whipped into a frenzy and began looking into details, costs, start dates and application requirements. I requested the prospectus and signed up as a prospective student. Then in a moment of uncommon spontaneity I began applying.

I was well into the second page before my brain caught up to what my body was doing and I reviewed my last check-box response and answer-in-the-box-provided. I noticed I responded in the affirmative to "are you applying to any other schools" and had the audacity/foresight to start listing the schools in places I always wanted to go without bothering to even see if the exact program was even available.

At this point I was concerned for my own sanity and seriously doubted by suitability for any/all future endevours. "Why was all if this happening in a whim?" "Do I even know what I am talking about?" and a plethora of other questions came to occupy my mind. So while my mind was busy with those the Beast of Change went ahead and searched the websites for the three schools I listed (with space for an "unknown" fourth). I turned up interesting results twice with exciting programs at each and one less inspiring but passable option at the third. It wasn't what I had in mind. I went back to my search engine of choice and tried looking up yet another option and was given an astounding "suggested" (i.e. Sponsored) search recommendation along with my intended result. "Of course! That's the fourth place I always wanted to go!!" I thanked the Go...gods of the Internet, clicked and by 2pm had fallen flat on my electronic-face on the Masters degree program in the location of my dreams! Can I get an amen? It was a miracle.

So while hovering between the decision to start applying at once (which it turns out I couldn't as applications wouldn't be open for another two months) and going back to finish my cover letter, it hit me: I won't get stuck! Everything's gonna be OK.

*note: since this time I have completed my application and await with as much optimism as possible my acceptance to this program and in anticipation have booked my trip to India (as I do not forsee a Masters student being in the financial situation to do so) and even "quit my good job" and given notice on my apartment for when the time comes.

The Beast of Change is in line at the buffet just waiting to be fed.

wonder (December 4)

Apparently waking up at 4:35 am is not good for the pace of my wit or creativity. But since the bus-ticket-guy said to be an hour early this morning... I am here waiting for the ticket desk... TO OPEN & this find myself with some time to spend doing something that doesn't put me to sleep: blog time!
In my continued efforts to catch up to the Reverb10 prompts here is he December 4 edition – Wonder.

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Well I am stumped here. I am not sure whether to indicate just the premiss of this blog or a post in it or one specific thing.

Maybe I will cop out and use the blog itself.

I think the challenge to phrase things in the context of "wonder" certainly leaves no room for pessimism or disinterest. It was a bit stifling for my sarcasm at first but it forced my attitude to change and it I began performing and imagining more wonder around me; a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Wander for wonder and realized you never have far to go.

Wednesday, December 22

to Travel or not to Travel... Prompt:  Travel. 
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

 Ah travel... something I am quite fond of and generally "a regular" so to speak. With 2009 having been the year of the airplane I made sure 2010 was a bit more environmentally friendly. I did a lot more bus travel, a great train trip and on the more-fossil-fuel side of things - some driving. I stayed in my own region of Canada (except for the one flight across the continent) and even explored my own province a bit with a "writing road trip" where I made a 2 hour trip into a 7.5 hour exercise in curiosity.

For 2011, I feel the return of the jet plane. I should probably buy some carbon credits or something since it's not the most direct of journeys... but I will be off to India for a good chunk of winter from February to mid-April (so January's blog is likely to have a lot of travel preparations!) and then a pit stop in Germany for 10 days. For many people that might be enough travel for awhile... but no, I hope to get at least three more trips in! Another big one: Ireland. And via Ireland Scotland, England/Wales, and if I can hack it - some year-end holiday in Portugal or Spain.... but that one's still in the "dreaming" phase.

I'm all vaccinated up and await my first visa of 2011 - away I go!!!

Tuesday, December 21

skip the fake it, just Make it (December 6)

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I've made poems - they usually take a lot less than non-poet-y people expect. Sometimes only a voice memo or a Tweet. Other times several pages of paper, ink smudges on hands, multiple rewrites and surely internal editors... but I'm not sure if that's what I constitute as my last "make." I'd probably more likely say cooking dinner for a friend, making soap from scratch or yesterday's "festive fruit crisp" for the latest holiday potluck. Even though it was overshadowed at the dessert table by a mountain of other things (not in plain tin pie plates?), I thought it was delicious - apples, rhubarb,  cranberries, nutmeg, cloves (and the usual: butter, brown sugar, oatmeal & cinnamon).

I'd really like to "make" another mosaic, a book and also more paintings & colleges but I feel more of the necessity is space (for said products afterward) than time... and in the realm of "making" food, a realm I like to visit often, I want to try making salsa, cheese, a fancy multi-tiered cake and the coloured/candied popcorn of my youth. If I can get three of those done by the end of summer I'll be pretty pleased!

Thanks Reverb10! Good post from Dec. 6th!

Caw-mew-naa-tee (December 7)

December 7 – Community.
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Poetry!! I definitely think that 2010 was the year of the Poetry Community. Both online and off there is so much flourishing, wonderful, inspiring new poetry that I can't believe my ears/eyes. From the annual poetry festival to the Stroll of Poets and other writing groups there has been so much great support here in Edmonton that I started to expand and see with the Internet(s) had to offer - to my excitement, there was a lot there too!

From my own creative challenge in October with Poe-a-Tweets and then jumping on board with the Poem A Day challenge in November I found so many great sites and forums and other e-poets that I was nothing short of thankful!
For instance there's Poetry Potluck (Mondays) on Jingle Poetry,
One Shot Wednesday at One Shot Poetry,  &
Then the fabulous Tweeting Poets of which there are no shortage - in the most positive sense of the word.
Here are just seven great examples who I follow: Semaphore, Shashi, Pete Marshall, Leslie Moon, Theron Kennedy, Jem & Adam Dustus but try searching #poem, #poet or #poetry any hour of the day on Twitter and you're bound to find other great additions!

I think this is the first time that I felt a common bond in an online community and am quite excited to continue this adventure. I think the best part was that it was so well aligned to the discovery of the 'real-life' poetry scene & having them be so welcoming too!

Thanks Poetry! You made my 2010 way more share-y & fun. And the next time someone says poetry isn't a living, flourishing art form... I'll show them!

Lyndia of the Future

Today's Reverb10 prompt (as follows) made into a poem was also shared on One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry.
Prompt: Future self.
Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?
Letter to the Future

Dearest Self of the Future,

Your selfish self of the past
seems to think
she knows something you

But you already knew that.

I wait to hear from you almost everyday
and listen to my own whisper
unlikely guessing
unprophetic messing
about, in the unknown places
I can't see,
this blatant avoidance of
the time right in front of me
will make me wiser when I can see
it from behind
forgetting it
and regretting it
as a
past self ought to.

p.s. stop listening for me and just learn to love.

by LyndiaP December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20

The Beauty of Difference (December 8)

Continuing my catching up of the Reverb10 prompts... December 8th:

Beautifully Different
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

 Well only a few days ago it was brought to my attention that I was *ahem* beautifully different (although in another turn of phrase) due to my distinct lack of "doing what people expect" and because I wear purple, blue or red pants if the mood hits me. At first, I laughed at this because although I certainly considered the value of my vibrant wardrobe I didn't think people really noticed it and because I didn't think of myself as unpredictable. So even though this has been stated (and the more I think of it this isn't the first time for either comment) I am not convinced that it is really my "difference."

Exhibit A: orange boots on the office floor
I think my difference must also be in the way, the intention, the reason I do some of these things... I certainly don't don the red trousers to be flashy or attention grabbing - that feeling is one of the things I can say I absolutely detest. So my real reason? I guess it's just fun. If sometimes it makes someone laugh or starts a conversation that could brighten someone's moment/hour/day - all the better!

As for the unpredictability - maybe that's just the part of me that's always realized that none of us really have a great deal of control on how things are going to work out every second of the day... why? Well, the shocking part for me is that I don't feel like I do do that very often, but maybe, perhaps I did more this year. Thanks to whomever said "what you seek you already are." Maybe that's the theme of 2010.

So, I do things because they are fun and I think make for that moment of the day that's worth telling a story about. If that can help someone else find a story in their day, all the better. If it makes people smile and happy for even a little while = best. I guess that's what makes me "beautiful" but hope it's not THAT different from lots of other people!

I really didn't want to do this one...

No, that title isn't true... mostly it's my sense of humour in a phase of hilarious punch-lines equating to lame puns or weak paradoxes.

So today's #Reverb10 Prompt? Well, it sounds a bit like preventing (or analyzing) regret... in a way? Well, you decide. But my response will include a poem so I can also submit it to the Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry.

2010 Reflective Prompt #20
Beyond avoidance: What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

My List

There were long lines
spaces too rare
waiting and doing
avoiding a snare.

I checked off pragmatics
I conquered a fear
I completed my goals
and missed something dear

now that I'm leaving
I finally see
many bleak days of toil
were really time to be free.

Too hurried to enjoy
rather scurry than wait,
and at the end of this employ-
ment, I know now - it's been great.

a less poetic translation
of what I just said
sometimes work is more
then what was stuck in my head.

Some days I was down
on my job- it's apparent
were all just great chances for my
perspective to be transparent

not that I lost all shots
to learn something new
I know I did many times
but missed quite a few...

poem by LyndiaP December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19

that Healing Feeling

For #reverb10 today the topic is healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden or slow evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?"

With no real physical ailments to speak of in 2010, I will have to approach this from a different angle. As such I took a minute to look up the word "heal" because I've found so many times that an assumedly straightforward word is far more beautifully complex than I realize. I was not disappointed with my foray into the depths of heal.

For 2010, my healing would be of the "cleanse and purify" brand for my whole self in relation to the difficult, emotional, life-changing events of the past 15 months. This was definitely an evolution that likely still isn't complete.
So for 2011? Heal: to restore, reconcile, mend. This kind of healing is a restoration of two components of myself - the all-dominating logical, meticulous, efficient self and the eager-to-grow creative, soulful, intuitive part... good thing I've got 365 days.

Saturday, December 18

Wisdom (December 10)

Wisdom – What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? From December 10th on #reverb10.

So simple and so true! The wisdom I followed was leaving days in my personal schedule ‘unplanned’ aka only having things planned two or three nights a week instead of all five. I tried, successfully, to be less busy. I opted out of things. I said 'No'... it was liberating.
Yes, this may sound obvious I know, but it was not, as they say, “how I rolled” in the past. So I hope after 12 months of a lighter schedule I will have made it into a solid habit!

Appreciate (December 14)

..still catching up... the list of stupendous Reverb 10 Prompts still inspires me to reflect and write more about 2010.
for December 14th the was prompt: Appreciate – What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Of all the things I have to be grateful for, in 2010 I have realized how much I value a certain type of person... people who are on the same wavelength!
This does not mean agreeing or having the same interests on everything, no. However, that can be rather amusing and worth appreciating if it's for the long-term benefit of a hilarious situation. But for me it is more about people who are willing to be themselves, genuine and open but respectful of themselves and others. I have been so terribly lucky to find these people all over the place in 2010. Sometimes just out of the blue and other times like socks hidden in the back of a drawer – and when I am around these people it feels much easier to be myself, to enjoy life and to be grateful.

I was given the most insightful, simplest way to show my appreciation for these people: tell them. One of these very people made it a point, in 2009, to ask only for birthday acknowledgement was to encourage all his friends to tell the people who are important in one’s life just how much they mean to you. I called three dear people in my life (perhaps three because I am an overachiever or just love sharing good vibes). I explained this friend’s birthday wish. I thanked them for being the wonderful, loving, same-wavelength-dwelling people that they are to me.

That simple gift (more to me than anyone) became extraordinarily meaningful to me in the wake of one of these dear people suddenly passing away that same year. Thus, this expression of gratitude for the supportive, inspiring and genuine people I meet has become a regular practice in my life and I am eternally grateful for it.

Try it!

Okay #reverb10 - you must have known I was off doing some snowshoeing and was up for a short prompt today!
Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did/didn’t go for it?

This one is easy! This year I wanted to try moving to an apartment solo, sans roommates. It was such a valuable and satisfying experience – but also allowed me to appreciate all the great roommates I've had in my life! However, there were times when I felt I had too much space and was living in one-bedroom opulence... and did miss splitting the bills two or three or four ways...

Next year? I want to try living in another country. And since I've already got the plane ticket I think I'll be ready to try that one really soon!

Friday, December 17

Aaand action! (December 13)

One more #reverb10 prompt today (I said I'd catch up!!) This one is from the 13th.
"When it comes to aspirations, it's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?"

Just one?? How about five?
Well, I've had the idea of getting a Masters degree since I was 12 years old so having put in all my applications to my top three program choices this month feels like a solid step!

Steps two through four? Finally heading on my journey of a lifetime. Another "since I was very young" dream. When I realized my name, Lyndia, rhymed with India I was interested. After some travel experience, undergrad courses and personal research... sub-continent here I come! I've got the ticket and the visa and the vaccinations so I feel that was no less than three steps.
Step 5? Quit my "good job in a bad economy" to make sure I could get all I could of it so THREE MONTHS in India... here I come.

Is that enough? In the next three days I'll be officially dumping my beloved... downtown apartment. Journey of a lifetime...aaaaand Action!

This Body (December 12)

For December 12 the #reverb10 prompt was on Body Integration, as follows: This year when did you feel most integrated with your body?

Luckily this prompt is for 2010! If I had had to think about "Body Integration" any year previous I would have had to do an Internet search to see if that was the name of a cutting edge dance song...then I would have scoffed and made a generic, sweeping comment and then illustrated some mental tangent. But for this year - perfect!

I have been so lucky to have had a superb revelation about this, but not without some excellent guidance. In early spring I noticed my awesome lunch-away-from-the-cubicle-jungle yoga classes were cultivating something deeper. A relatively unfamiliar phenomena of my mind being in my body. May be basic but it took me awhile! In one position (pigeon pose) I felt I had "mastered it" and was going to ask after class how to extend the challenge. Then, a few seconds later, my favourite yoga teacher Eileen Chan said something like "for some of you this will be a challenging posture, but if you feel distracted see if you can challenge yourself to keep your mind in this pose and in your mat." I was surprised! Just what I needed! So I promptly lost my focus in excitement... but had two seasons of practice until late autumn... I got it! One unexpected day it clicked and I felt totally in my body thanks to good ole stretchy pigeon!

The mental flurry settled into the physical space: together, integrated. Just there. Finally there... always there. Well, starting with increments of, like, 35 seconds.

Life 101 (2010)

The #reverb10 prompt today gets right to the heart of "Life 101" for the 2010 term. Lesson learned: What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

Simple! (not easy, just straightforward) One thing I learned was to trust and respect my instincts.
Sounds "touchy-feely"? It probably is but no less important. This past year has definitely had a significant spiritual/philosophical theme. Trusting my instincts sure was an essential component in articulating my life passions, advocating for issues I know are critical, being creative and understanding complex feeling-processes like grief. Lots of those issues are a bit heavy for us folks in this culture of hyper-individualization. Following my instincts was actually empowering, pretty freeing and definitely made this year possible.

My plan for this lesson? Keep it close to my chest but close to the surface as I embark into the wonderful world of overseas travel, post-graduate studies and in my continued spiritual/philosophical journey. Simple? Not likely... but will probably simplify things in the long run. Maybe it'll even open up other lessons about love, understanding and truth (see? philosophical/spiritual trend again...)

11 Things to Lose (for December 11)

Again, me catching up for #reverb10...
December 11 was another great prompt I can't pass up: What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

1) Regret.
Eliminate by - doing anything I think I could 'regret' later & let it pass when it comes up instead of getting sucked in by it.
Improves life because - I will be doing things that make me happy and can be free to learn by the past instead of being obsessed with something 'wrong' about it.

2) too many shoes & coats.
Eliminate by - not buying any new and getting rid of some of both.
Improves life because - saves money, reduces baggage and limits decision-making.

3) saying "I'm busy" when asked 'how are you?'.
Eliminate by - finding and using new responses.
Improves life because - stop obsessing with doing more than I can, create opportunities to talk/listen about life instead of 'to-do lists'

4) Gin.
Eliminate by - pouring out the single bottle in my cupboard (likely just giving it away) and refusing to order it anywhere.
Improves life because - it is the only alcohol that makes me feel like I have less than 24 hours to live but I still drink it on occasions of mind-boggling incongruity to this established fact.

5) fast food Chinese or French Fries
Eliminate by - saying no to buying or eating either.
Improves life because - both, like #4, are known to make me physically ill or uncomfortable in exchange for the short moments of 'delicious-ness pleasure.'

6) Others' definitions of Success.
Eliminate by - realize my own definition, stick to it & work toward it.
Improves life because - less self judgement and (see #8)

7) Soda/Pop.
Eliminate by - not considering it a treat or having on special occassions
Improves life because - it would stop the headaches and stale sugar taste I hate and I often get afterwards. It would also be healthier.

8) Over Analysis.
Eliminate by - follow my gut instincts and let my mind settle and be quiet more often.
Improves life because - reduces stress, headaches and validate my intuition which is empowering.

9) Expensive Cosmetics.
Eliminate by - not using costly/designer makeup, lotions or soaps
Improves life because - more budget friendly, less chemicals, increase acceptance of self as is.

10) Forgetfullness of Dreams.
Eliminate by - keeping a log of dreams remembered and for making time and a mental focus to write them down.
Improves life because - source for creating and insight (two things I value).

11) Crash Diets.
Eliminate by - normally eating healthy and not being overindulgent (but when/if it happens not to regret (see #1).
Improves life because - healthier, less self judgement, more energy and a better attitude.

Thursday, December 16

5 Minutes (December 15th)

The #reverb10 prompt for yesterday, December 15 was
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.
Fun! How could I pass that up?! Shockingly, under faux pressure of losing one's memory in 5 minutes it becomes ridiculously hard to rememer things...

My 5 Minutes (for 2010):

30 second poetry reading in red shoes (then many more after that)

Yoga journey: from libraries and parks and theatres to books and silence and philosophy and now a Jaunary-dated plane ticket booked for India!

Train trip across the Canadian Rockies - reading, observing, embracing and then watching a rare Prince Rupert sunset. The woman who lived in the oldest house in town (now right beside the casino) sang La Vie en Roseto us at breakfast. Then we walked to the shore to see the majestic eagles.

Gators in Florida! of the real, humongous brand and even of the "fruit smoothie" type - but the latter only named after not included as an ingredient.

My search for self, soul and defining the strength of femininity.

One month of a Poem A Day

Deliberating on universities to apply to for my Masters degree and finding the top three.

Learning to make paska, verenika and shneeball from the expert

Sistina and soap making

Moving to a downtown apartment and having the first annual Sisters Week

Not buying clothes for 8 months and counting!

Painting, photographing and the present moment

Building relationships and young leaders 'from 9 to 5' by following their imaginations...

(*phew* that's tiring!) LyndiaP December 16, 2010


So here's the December 16th prompt - How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

There were so many friends both bursting and gradually changing my perspectives this year. Transforming  confusion to opportunity with their own stories and coming out of unexpected places just when I needed them.

One of the experiences I am most struck by is more of me being a witness to the change of a friend. She grew, quite literally into a first-time mother. I really did not expect to be so impacted by it but I felt it was not only an amazing transformation of her but also a display of such Realness and Beauty that I couldn't help but be moved. I have never thought of the capacity to have a child in such an awe-inspiring and truly miraculous way but I really felt it. This is not to say I will be manifesting any such experience for myself in 2011, but to be able to observe the pregnancy progression to the tiny infant was totally inspiring. And for that I thank my dear friend; the growing hope and love that she showed resonated with me and gave me more hope and love for, as cheesy as it is, the whole world.

I'd say that was a bit of a perspective changer.

Thanks #reverb10!

Reverb Prompts 2010

I am SO excited about this! A sweet site called Reverb  is hosting this online creative challenge to reflect on the past year and manifest the next. I love the idea of people engaging in this kind of thing so am pumped to have found out about it... even though I'm starting on Day 16. Oh well- maybe I'll have to do two a day...

So if you'd like to join in - - it'll be wonderous!

(p.s. this may will very well slow down the In Response creative challenge... I'll manifest that for a month of next year.)

no Monopoly on Empathy

I too have been inspired by a book called "The Age of Empathy" by Frans de Waal . Biology and evolution in clear and accessible prose to expose the roots and embedded nature of empathy? Discounting the "sprung up like mushrooms" notion? That's a good idea to me!
A society based purely on selfish motives and market forces may produce wealth, yet it can’t produce the unity and mutual trust that make life worthwhile. This is why surveys measure the greatest happiness not in the wealthiest nations but rather in those with the highest levels of trust among citizens.
Cross-species Observation
 In Response

Empathy Monopoly

and we sit in parks or chairs
gaze at lovers with warm stares
dry a tear or laugh to share

justify we don't compare
to anything that won't shave hair
do car repairs
or stockings wear?

As if humans monopolized
the ability to care.

photo and poetry by LyndiaP December 16, 2010

Friday, December 10

Earth to Eaarth

Today's In Response comes from a quote in my calendar from Bill McKibben (who I had to look up online to learn more about and he has a great concept about renaming the planet from Earth to Eaarth because the place we have created/devastated is not the kind of place we'd want to call home.) The actual thought-provoking comment I read today though is:

"What sets wilderness apart in the modern day is not that it's dangerous (it's almost certainly safer than any town or road) or that it's solitary (you can, as they say, be alone in a crowded room) or full of exotic animals (there are more of them at the zoo). It's the fact that five miles out in the woods you can't buy anything."

In Response

Wild like a Tiger

Wild like a Tiger
in a safety vest
directing a traffic jam of
blind race car drivers
fighting seizures
of road rage.

Rural outcasts
read the urban rule books
written in the language of lies.
Between the lines
exposes ingredients for Home
far from shopping malls
or credit, cash and debit
poetic directions to get there
hidden by too many flashy adverts
selling too much harmless fear
to let us take a breath
let alone a first step.

poetry and photograph by LyndiaP December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7

Human Doings

Here's the first quote for my In Response project. It comes from the book called "Chasing Rumi" by Roger Housden, 2002.

"People often take what they do to be the measure of who they are. If they are not doing something...they lose touch with the feeling of if the gap in action signified a gap in themselves."
Blue Wings. Constant Motion.
 In Response

This Programmed Life

This programmed life
Alarms, reminders, lists make me whole.

I know I'm busy. I know I'm fine.
When I know I'm busy, I know I'm fine.

The threat is Nothing.
Schedules can't afford to slip
the threat is near.
Endless power of Nothing
that looks in a mirror
sees itself
reflects me.

my fear is the familiarity
of the stagnant
with Nothing
is nothing.

I push from this lull
to something
too many somethings
until Nothing can't hold
even as a memory
not me.

More tasks and work
ideas, things, words
to keep myself full
with Nothing
never a possibility
So I am always something
powerless with somethings.

Surface glances at mirrors
hiding Nothing behind them.
My reflection fleeting
my image always doing
I can relate to.
Always relate to.

Until the somethings
all reflect
No place
for fear
or Nothing or
Doing. Doing
until I am free.

No room for Nothing
No room for Me.

photography and poem by LyndiaP December 7, 2010
(submitted to Jingle Poetry's Poetry Potluck - Week 13)

Monday, December 6

introducing In Response

In Response is something I'm going to try for December (as I've got other plans for January!) three times a week (given my schedule this month, I know 'daily' will only lead to mental and emotional instability).

The concept is pretty basic: a way for me to share my travels through the world of reading and still be "in response" to what has inspired me (see? easy!) I'll keep it brief so I can get back to reading said thing that has inspired this latest challenge.

- Keep wondering,

Wednesday, December 1

December Calls

in honour of PoemADay November I wanted to post yet once more in poem-form for the first of December: PoemADay +1 (also for One Shot Wednesday at

A-muse-ing Delivery
attend to the pictures in your mind,
ready the canvas while you wait on the surprise
secret delivery in a round wooden box
carved TO: your name
with just one other word
The Word
to inspire
a steady polishing to expose the grain
looking deeper in a small hollow gourd
of wood.
Looking deeper to see the stars inside
stars that sing in colour
songs that are echoes of a primal rhythm
wait for the chorus in your chest.
wait for the refrain
then no longer refrain!

Make the empty contents of this box
a different source than the vain
This message expires,
kept only as long as it inspires.
The Word
keeping time -
with the song of the heartful

and space

to tell the story.

LyndiaP December 1, 2010 (PoemADay 31 of 30, an epilogue)